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Philippines lifts import ban on Fukushima agri products

Christian Fernsby |
The Philippines has lifted the restrictions it imposed on the importation of agricultural and other food products coming from areas affected by the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, Japan.

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The decision comes almost a year since the Japanese government made the request.

According to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, the ban is meaningless anyway: “I consider the ban, issued by the previous administration, as just a bureaucratic gobbledygook and an overreaction to an issue which did not really affect the Philippines.”

The lifting of the seven-year old import ban is the Philippine government’s “gesture of goodwill” during the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte and his Cabinet members to Japan this week.

Piñol said that the latest order lifting the importation ban will be officially presented to Japanese Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Yoshikawa Takamori this week.

Meanwhile, the Philippines is also seeking a lower tariff for bananas and pineapples that the country export in Japan, something the Department of Agriculture (DA) hopes to be able to discuss with its Japanese counterpart soon.

The Duterte administration also wants to penetrate the Japanese market for Hass avocados.

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